Wednesday, July 1, 2009

So who is conspiring to kill the soca?

BEING IN GRENADA these past few days, I have had a greater opportunity to listen closely to Grenadian radio as they have now turned to an almost complete diet of music related to the island's upcoming carnival.

I have also had the opportunity to visit a couple of local recording studios and listen first-hand to some of the material being prepared there for the festival.

While it is something that has been bothering me for a couple of years now - I am becoming more than satisfied that local Grenadian radio is doing a disservice to both carnival, and its array of promising artistes.

If you were to only listen to most of the stations -- you'd come to the conclusion that there is a less than exciting crop of music this season.

But I am satisfied that it is not as bad as it sounds.

If I was a believer in conspiracy theories, I would have said that some industry players in the radio are part of a wider plot to destabilize Grenadian music.

You listen to the stations and you'd get mostly ill-baked jab-jab laced one- dimensional rhythms with lyrics as empty as Caribbean treasuries and hopelessly pointless.

Indeed that refreshing authentic Grenadian sound is quickly being diluted and short changed -- aided and abetted by people who make choices of what needs to be played on radio that don't have the artistic appreciation nor cultural depth to do so.

SOS someone -- because this is a crisis -- and its slipping fast.

The thing about what the radio is deciding to play -- is that it sets it up as THE standard -- and a lot of the artistes who are capable of much better end up giving the stations -- not the people -- what they want.

Only that could explain how within 12 months Brother B can go from that cheeky infectious song of last season, to a pointless ode to liquor.

(Coming soon on this blog, the 10 most over hyped song of the season that aint worth it; and the 10 songs that should have been played more).


  1. I totally agree with you. Not being in Grenada and listening to the radio online, my staff always give me talk about the quality of music we produce.

  2. I, Ufortunately am somewhat involved in the industry and while i will agree with you that the radio stations are somewhat responsible for setting trends and as we say locally make or break an artist I am somewhat more concerned with another culprit within the industry...The Recording studios and the lack of creative minds operating them,so here's how it works.. these days young people are enthuiastic to sing soca, goes to a studio the man in the studio throws in a readymade jabjab beat hypes up the youth and collects a $1000. The song doesn't tell a story, it is poorely written, the mix is not good the quality is poor....he get's little or no airplay....disappointment, Last soca preliminaries in Sauteurs I asked over 25 young men where they recorded and they were almost unanimous to a particular studio, easy money, of just about 40 two made it to the semifinal round of competition.... a studio should be a brand and you should pride yorself on what goes on your label, but for carnival anybody with a nursery rhyme and $1000-$1200 will do shame on some of Grenada's Recording Studios

  3. That is a very interesting take on this issue. The studios could become the door keepers for better quality as well. Great idea.

    It is a point I did not make in the original article, but it is a point well taken.

  4. Its really unfortunate….but the drive by individuals and by that I mean artists to own their personal studio at home, compounded by the poor writing are the major contributing factors for the somewhat poor quality of music coming out of Grenada.

    With the countless riddims produced o the Island, producers are campaigning like election to get music played on the various radio stations.

    So sad……..

  5. Betty Ann LazarusJuly 1, 2009 at 2:49 PM

    How interesting,well written and true.
    I have always held the view that Recording Studio managers/arrangers must bear some resposibility for killing the artform (with the nonsense they accept as a reflection of work done). On the other hand Radio Managers and Programme Directors are also not intune with what is aired and there in lies the problem. Only this morning a big aurgument broke out in a vehicle about the stupidity of a song on air.The driver switched off. A lot more needs to be done to highlight the diservice these off the street DJ's are doing not only to the artform but to the media/profession as a whole. Another issue which is crying out for attention is the coverage or lack of sports on the island,,,, its dying.

  6. I think you mean well but like the DJ'S YOU ARE ALSO GUILTY OF SELECTING WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR. Sorry, you need to listen to all the stations if you want your judgement to be respected.

  7. I agree one hundred percent, these people like to marginalise stations too dam much

  8. Trust me Sugars and Jojo and dem does play real good music on VOG FM